In Computer, You See No Hard Drive Light Activity

Learn how to resolve the issue on the computer when there is no hard drive light activity.

The boot drive cannot be located. The most frequent cause of drive problems is power connections. Inspect the 4-pin power cable and see that it is attached correctly and entirely to the drive.

Check the power supply voltage next. Use a voltmeter and verify that the +5 and +12-V levels (especially +12 V) are correct at the 4-pin connector. If either voltage is low or absent, replace the power supply.

Locate the wide ribbon cable that connects the drive and makes sure that it is attached correctly and completely at the drive and controller ends. Look for any scrapes or nicks along the cable that might cause problems.

Start the CMOS setup. Review the hard disk drive parameters entered in the CMOS setup, and be sure that the CMOS entries accurately reflect the actual boot drive installed on your computer system. If not, correct the errors, save the changes, and restart the system.

Also, check the drive controller board is installed correctly and completely in its expansion slot and see that any jumpers are set correctly.

Try booting the system from the CD drive. If the system successfully boots from the CD, your problem is limited to the hard disk drive.

Now try switching to C: drive. If the drive responds, there might be a problem with the boot sector. Try a package, such as PC tools or Norton utilities to fix the boot sector.

Check for boot-sector viruses. A boot sector virus can render the hard drive unbootable. If you haven't check for viruses yet, use your anti-virus work disk now and focus on the boot sector problems.

If you cannot determine the problem at this point, try replacing the drive with a known-good working drive. Remember that you will have to change the CMOS setup parameters to accommodate the new drive.

If all fails, try a new drive-controller board.

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